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Transplant Village Update

Dear Transplant Center Friend,

Thank you all for your continued interest in Transplant Village.  As a group of grateful transplant patients and families from Northwestern Medicine we passionately work together to help those that are sharing the very same experience.

We have lots of news to report.

SAVE THE DATE – We are having a celebration on November 19, 2016! You and your family are invited to celebrate the Festival of Life at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago hotel, which overlooks Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Enjoy lunch and a silent auction, then join us on the Mag Mile to cheer the Northwestern Medicine float, featuring Transplant Village, in the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade.

Proceeds from the luncheon and silent auction will benefit the Northwestern Medicine Transplant Endowment.

Auction items at our celebration will include an intimate dinner on a private yacht in Lake Michigan, and a tour of Chicago on a private aircraft, and we will auction the opportunity for you or a family member to be on the Northwestern Medicine’s float in the parade. All proceeds from this fundraiser celebration go towards the Organ Transplant Endowment at Northwestern.

Saturday, November 19, 2016 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago 909 North Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor Ballroom
Hotel Valet Parking: $16
$50 for adults and $10 for children under age 10

We need your help: Attached are some ideas and suggestions for you to consider as a donation for an auction item.  We are also seeking sponsors to this event.  If you are interested in this opportunity or have ideas for companies or individuals to sponsor or provide other auction items please contact Laurie Lee at Laurie@swiftpassport.com

FUNDRAISING – Transplant Village has enthusiastically accepted the challenge to lead the $10 million endowment campaign for the Comprehensive Transplant Center. Many of us are alive today because of the medical breakthroughs in transplant medicine lead by Northwestern.  Our successful campaign will be our legacy and assure the vision for the Transplant Center and for future transplant patients.

This endowment serves as a “savings account” that is not touched yet earns income for the research for high risk/high reward innovated patient care/transplant medicine initiatives that tackle and seek solutions for organ failure, better patient outcomes and innovated patient care. Our vision and intention will provide the stability to assure this life-changing research continues into perpetuity. This is our way of paying forward like others did before us.

The Center’s track record for these high risk/high reward projects is enviable. This money is used to “seed” transplant initiatives in their infancy. Historically, these efforts show great promise and other federal funding follows the original philanthropic investment. In the past, one dollar a philanthropic investment has yielded eight dollars in follow-on federal funding.  A recent example was an $12 Mil NIH Follow up grant for the study of reactivation of CMV after Transplantation. This study of CMV, which at one time was a killer of transplant patients, started years ago with a very small philanthropic gift.

We are pleased to report that by the end of this fiscal year (August 2016) we will have raised over $1 million for the Organ Transplant Endowment. The gift to put us over the top came from the estate of a transplant patient. Earlier this year we received a very generous 4:1 –  $2.0 Mil. matching gift from an anonymous donor, a friend of a recent transplant patient. So, for every $100 we raise the anonymous donor adds $25. We have now recently developed a roadmap for our next million dollars.

We are currently updating the case statement which not only outlines our rationale for the campaign but also highlights the different areas of research where the money will be invested. This research and data is relevant to all of us that have received a transplant. I will forward this information to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, some of you have asked for a copy of our 50th Campaign Book which outlines the history of the center – where we’ve gone but more importantly the future.  I have attached it for you here.

GIFT OPPORTUNITIES – We are grateful for all of the gifts we have received over the course of the campaign. Every dollar counts and makes a huge difference, especially with our matching gift (for the Transplant Endowment Campaign) and the ongoing government grant funding.  But it all starts with folks like ourselves.  I am happy to meet with you personally if you would like to discuss some of the initiatives at the center and perhaps explore some area that may be a passion to particular to you and your family.  Please send me a quick email and let’s meet over a cup of coffee. Also, we often receive requests from friends and family of transplant patients wishing to make a gift in their honor of the patient in which case a gift can have completed online directly here.

Transplant Village exists because of the dedicated and grateful council and committee members working together to accomplish our mission. Most of the activity of our Village occurs within our committee structure. Our committees include fundraising, patient support, patient advisory, event, and communications/PR. Many of you have indicated an interest to be more active within our community. Currently we seeking active individuals within a few specific areas.

  • COMMUNICATIONS/PR – We are seeking two or three individuals with good communication and social media skills in this area. This is our platform for communicating and advancing our mission both internal and external to the Northwestern community. Especially helpful would be assistance on the social media platforms (perhaps a millennial?). More information is attached. Should you have an interest please contact Laurie Lee at Laurie@Swiftpassport.com.
  • EVENT COMMITTEE – During the year we have several events all with your plan by this committee. Especially for November event we could use help and expertise. Assistance with obtaining sponsorships would be very valuable to us. Please contact Kristin Ahern at ahern.kristen@gmail.com.
  • PATIENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE – this committee exists specifically to assist and advise the physicians and staff at the Transplant Center. Members of the patient advisory committee provide feedback directly to the clinic operations staff on how to improve patient experience. Preference is for individuals who have been a transplant recipient or donor within the last two years. Please contact Julie Kellman at juliejessen@yahoo.com.
  • TRANSPLANT ADVISORY COUNCIL (TAC) – during the next few months we may be seeking individuals to be on our main council board. Information on the role and responsibilities is attached. If there is an interest, please contact Dan Dickinson at dand@inavgroup.com.

TRANSPLANT BUDDY PROGRAM- This is our effort to match pre-transplant patients with one of us who have been through the system.  This program has now been adopted by the Center and we are receiving referrals from physicians and social workers.  If you are aware of a patient who potentially will receive a transplant, please pass the information attached along to them.

WHITE HOUSE TRANSPLANT SUMMIT – The White House held a Transplant Summit early in June.  Attendees included both Government and Private entities including CMS, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, NIH, Google, many major transplant research centers, and of course, Northwestern represented by Dr. Jason Wertheim.  This may have been the largest gathering of transplant constituencies ever.  Attached is the summary.  Scores of organizations and institutions have committed to initiatives in the areas of increasing organ donation, emphasis on living donation, increasing organ transplants and several other targeted programs.  This appears to be the roadmap for years to come as government and private resources work together.  This is a fascinating read and is indicative how far transplant has evolved over the years.  I believe you will find this relevant to you.

And lastly, if you would like to receive more news from Transplant Village please register with our website here.  Your email information will be held in confidence and you can receive news directly from Transplant Village

We appreciate your continued interest and support and look forward to keeping you connected to the Village

With regards,

Dan Dickinson, Chair
Transplant Advisory Council
Northwestern Medicine